Radiohead is the Internet’s favorite band. As such, any tidbit of information concerning new music from the English quintet, which hasn’t released an album in five years, gets picked apart relentlessly. Last weekend, that overzealous analysis went into overdrive when news spread that the band was slowly deleting its social media presence. The online slate-wiping culminated in an animated, intense video for the new single “Burn the Witch,” and an online frenzy of speculation over when Radiohead might drop its ninth album (today? Friday the 13th? Limerick Day?!). Guess what? The answer is Sunday, May 8. (Hey, maybe the album is a Mother’s Day present to the world?) We know this because the band tweeted out yet another new song from the album, complete with a music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson—because nothing goes with weird and sometimes inaccessible music like the director of Magnolia! So, how did the band get here? Let’s look back at its history, from pop to avant-garde. We put together 13 songs—from each of Radiohead’s past albums—to provide a timeline of the group’s rise from early 1990s British rock to the last remaining non-nostalgia act capable of filling stadiums. Get ready for Sunday by rediscovering the essential Radiohead.

“Creep”

That’s right, the choral arrangement from the incredible first trailer for David Fincher’s Facebook movie is originally by Radiohead. Chances are good that if you only know one Radiohead song, it’s this debut single from the band’s first album Pablo Honey. It’s a masterwork of anticipation: the patiently chugging drumline, the angelic guitar line, and Thom Yorke’s slightly whining delivery—all leading up to the catharsis of the distorted second guitar booming into the chorus. It’s also famously rarely performed live, since the band grew tired of playing it night after night. Now, it’s more likely that somebody else on the bill at a major festival will cover “Creep”—like Prince did at Coachella in 2008—than it is to hear Radiohead dust off the cobwebs.

That’s right, the choral arrangement from the incredible first trailer for David Fincher’s Facebook movie is originally by Radiohead. Chances are good that if you only know one Radiohead song, it’s this debut single from the band’s first album Pablo Honey. It’s a masterwork of anticipation: the patiently chugging drumline, the angelic guitar line, and Thom Yorke’s slightly whining delivery—all leading up to the catharsis of the distorted second guitar booming into the chorus. It’s also famously rarely performed live, since the band grew tired of playing it night after night. Now, it’s more likely that somebody else on the bill at a major festival will cover “Creep”—like Prince did at Coachella in 2008—than it is to hear Radiohead dust off the cobwebs.

“Just”

Radiohead’s sophomore album The Bends often gets cited as their last straightforward rock, before they went down a rabbit hole of experimentation without ever finding the bottom. Songs like “Just” help to fuel that narrative. Allegedly, the song was a contest between Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood to see how many chords they could fit into a track. But that doesn’t matter when the awesome lead guitar line starts ratcheting up into the verses, and the song hits its gorgeous undistorted bridge. “Just” also has the first of many notably pretentious videos from Radiohead, a performance concept piece (right) that feels ripped from an MFA portfolio.

Radiohead’s sophomore album The Bends often gets cited as their last straightforward rock, before they went down a rabbit hole of experimentation without ever finding the bottom. Songs like “Just” help to fuel that narrative. Allegedly, the song was a contest between Yorke and guitarist Jonny Greenwood to see how many chords they could fit into a track. But that doesn’t matter when the awesome lead guitar line starts ratcheting up into the verses, and the song hits its gorgeous undistorted bridge. “Just” also has the first of many notably pretentious videos from Radiohead, a performance concept piece (right) that feels ripped from an MFA portfolio.

“Street Spirit (Fade Out)”

The Bends may be the last time Radiohead let loose and didn’t concern itself with loading every song with so much meaning—but it also had signs that the band was already looking to expand its horizons. There were other traditional hits on the record, like “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees,” but album-closer “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” looms large as the final track before the band took a consciously sharp turn into more highfalutin musical territory. When people say Radiohead is “bleak” or “haunting,” the origins are all in this song. Its saving grace, then, is that it’s still from an era where Radiohead were building big rock songs. So despite the mournful acoustic plucking, it’s constantly building, adding drums and layered strings until it sounds like it could fill a stadium or festival—which is exactly what it does.

The Bends may be the last time Radiohead let loose and didn’t concern itself with loading every song with so much meaning—but it also had signs that the band was already looking to expand its horizons. There were other traditional hits on the record, like “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees,” but album-closer “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” looms large as the final track before the band took a consciously sharp turn into more highfalutin musical territory. When people say Radiohead is “bleak” or “haunting,” the origins are all in this song. Its saving grace, then, is that it’s still from an era where Radiohead were building big rock songs. So despite the mournful acoustic plucking, it’s constantly building, adding drums and layered strings until it sounds like it could fill a stadium or festival—which is exactly what it does.

“Paranoid Android”

The centerpiece of Radiohead’s decade-defining 1997 magnum opus Ok Computer is this 6.5-minute suite, which follows in the footsteps of The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” mostly linear songs that tie together disparate musical sequences with recurring melodies. Before recording the studio version, Radiohead tried out a much looser and more expansive rough take while on tour that clocked in at over 10 minutes, complete with an organ solo. But they deemed it too excessive (LoL!) and trimmed it down to this relentlessly paced version that doesn’t feel overlong for a single.

The centerpiece of Radiohead’s decade-defining 1997 magnum opus Ok Computer is this 6.5-minute suite, which follows in the footsteps of The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” mostly linear songs that tie together disparate musical sequences with recurring melodies. Before recording the studio version, Radiohead tried out a much looser and more expansive rough take while on tour that clocked in at over 10 minutes, complete with an organ solo. But they deemed it too excessive (LoL!) and trimmed it down to this relentlessly paced version that doesn’t feel overlong for a single.

“Let Down”

Most of OK Computer was made while the band stayed at St Catherine’s Court, a 16th-century manor house in Bath, England—making it one of the best “band retreats to creepy location” recording stories ever. But instead of merely setting up one place to record all the songs in the house, the band and producer Nigel Godrich really “explored the space” and tracked different songs at different times throughout the manor. “Let Down” was recorded in the mansion’s ballroom one night at 3 a.m. The song also has a good example of another way Radiohead has alienated listeners who didn’t study music theory: It uses odd time signatures, meaning the number of beats per bar isn’t a common number and isn’t uniform throughout the song.

Most of OK Computer was made while the band stayed at St Catherine’s Court, a 16th-century manor house in Bath, England—making it one of the best “band retreats to creepy location” recording stories ever. But instead of merely setting up one place to record all the songs in the house, the band and producer Nigel Godrich really “explored the space” and tracked different songs at different times throughout the manor. “Let Down” was recorded in the mansion’s ballroom one night at 3 a.m. The song also has a good example of another way Radiohead has alienated listeners who didn’t study music theory: It uses odd time signatures, meaning the number of beats per bar isn’t a common number and isn’t uniform throughout the song.

“Everything In Its Right Place”

By the end of the ’90s, Radiohead was exhausted with the stylistic restraints of rock music. So what had been additional blips during the production of OK Computer morphed into the central instruments of the band’s next record. Kid A initially sounded like the band looked out to see how many people had followed them to OK Computer, and then deliberately set out to lose as many of those left standing as possible. The divergent path Radiohead took ultimately creates two camps of people: one that adores the older, straightforward rock, and and those who found something to latch onto as the band surged ahead in search of something new. But it’s a false dichotomy—they’re both thrilling, and stepping out on a ledge like this allowed the band to meld the two styles later in the decade.

By the end of the ’90s, Radiohead was exhausted with the stylistic restraints of rock music. So what had been additional blips during the production of OK Computer morphed into the central instruments of the band’s next record. Kid A initially sounded like the band looked out to see how many people had followed them to OK Computer, and then deliberately set out to lose as many of those left standing as possible. The divergent path Radiohead took ultimately creates two camps of people: one that adores the older, straightforward rock, and and those who found something to latch onto as the band surged ahead in search of something new. But it’s a false dichotomy—they’re both thrilling, and stepping out on a ledge like this allowed the band to meld the two styles later in the decade.

“Idioteque”

“Creep” took inspiration from a song by The Hollies, but for Kid A’s most cavernous track, Radiohead actually sampled 1970s electronic music. The first source is Paul Lansky’s “Mild Und Leise (Part 1),” which gives the song its foundational chords. The other is “Short Piece,” by Arthur Kreiger. This is as far away from the realm of The Bends as Kid A gets, and yet it’s still pretty danceable. Get a fog machine going, some strobe lights, and there are some dance majors out there looking to choreograph some kind of modern movement protest piece with this as the soundtrack. That was the grand irony of Kid A—as the band moved further from its musical origins, it ended up earning more devotion and garnering more praise.

“Creep” took inspiration from a song by The Hollies, but for Kid A’s most cavernous track, Radiohead actually sampled 1970s electronic music. The first source is Paul Lansky’s “Mild Und Leise (Part 1),” which gives the song its foundational chords. The other is “Short Piece,” by Arthur Kreiger. This is as far away from the realm of The Bends as Kid A gets, and yet it’s still pretty danceable. Get a fog machine going, some strobe lights, and there are some dance majors out there looking to choreograph some kind of modern movement protest piece with this as the soundtrack. That was the grand irony of Kid A—as the band moved further from its musical origins, it ended up earning more devotion and garnering more praise.

“Knives Out”

And so we’ve reached the zenith of Radiohead’s time spent wandering the genre desert in search of new influences. Amnesiac gets overshadowed by Kid A, the high-profile departure album that came before it. But songs like “Knives Out” show that the band didn’t just stop with immersing itself in sampling, synths, and other electronic instruments—they pushed further into alienating mainstream rock by looking to jazz. Yes, the world’s most consistent rock band wrote an unmistakably jazz-inflected song about social Darwinism and cannibalism. It’s utterly ridiculous, and yet still fascinating.

And so we’ve reached the zenith of Radiohead’s time spent wandering the genre desert in search of new influences. Amnesiac gets overshadowed by Kid A, the high-profile departure album that came before it. But songs like “Knives Out” show that the band didn’t just stop with immersing itself in sampling, synths, and other electronic instruments—they pushed further into alienating mainstream rock by looking to jazz. Yes, the world’s most consistent rock band wrote an unmistakably jazz-inflected song about social Darwinism and cannibalism. It’s utterly ridiculous, and yet still fascinating.

“2+2=5”

Even Radiohead admits now that they may have gone a little overboard on Hail to the Thief. The album is too long—with all songs also getting secondary titles—and could’ve used some better editing. But because of the band’s slight disappointment, it has become perhaps their most underrated album. The on-the-nose one-two punch of 1984 and Dante’s Inferno references of “2+2=5 (The Lukewarm)” complete the lit major requirements of the album in one fell swoop. But it’s the kind of slow burn to a big finish that exemplifies what happens when the band puts the best of its previous albums together.

Even Radiohead admits now that they may have gone a little overboard on Hail to the Thief. The album is too long—with all songs also getting secondary titles—and could’ve used some better editing. But because of the band’s slight disappointment, it has become perhaps their most underrated album. The on-the-nose one-two punch of 1984 and Dante’s Inferno references of “2+2=5 (The Lukewarm)” complete the lit major requirements of the album in one fell swoop. But it’s the kind of slow burn to a big finish that exemplifies what happens when the band puts the best of its previous albums together.

“There There”

The members of Radiohead switch instruments occasionally, not just trading a guitar for a synth, but actually swapping places or doubling up in order to add extra weight to a song. Greenwood joins drummer Phil Selway to add an extra layer of tom-tom-heavy percussion to “There There,” which has become a live favorite due to the building intensity. For three and a half minutes, it feels like a choral chant with tribal drums, but then the final minute gives way to yet another soaring guitar solo.

The members of Radiohead switch instruments occasionally, not just trading a guitar for a synth, but actually swapping places or doubling up in order to add extra weight to a song. Greenwood joins drummer Phil Selway to add an extra layer of tom-tom-heavy percussion to “There There,” which has become a live favorite due to the building intensity. For three and a half minutes, it feels like a choral chant with tribal drums, but then the final minute gives way to yet another soaring guitar solo.

“All I Need”

In Rainbows is such an important album from a music business perspective that it’s still hard to separate out the music—which is some of the best of Radiohead’s career. They have more than enough barnburners to fill out a set, but they also have some stellar ballads. “All I Need” falls into the latter category, with a pulsing baseline and Selway’s persistent drums underneath Yorke’s floating voice. Unlike many other songs that build to a giant burst of guitars, this track blends together piano and strings at its height as Yorke alternates between screaming “It’s all wrong” and “It’s all right.”

In Rainbows is such an important album from a music business perspective that it’s still hard to separate out the music—which is some of the best of Radiohead’s career. They have more than enough barnburners to fill out a set, but they also have some stellar ballads. “All I Need” falls into the latter category, with a pulsing baseline and Selway’s persistent drums underneath Yorke’s floating voice. Unlike many other songs that build to a giant burst of guitars, this track blends together piano and strings at its height as Yorke alternates between screaming “It’s all wrong” and “It’s all right.”

“Reckoner”

Radiohead’s later career has been marked by a willingness to continue picking at ideas over the years until eventually finding a way to make them work. In Rainbows contains songs that had been written as far back as 1997 (“Nude”), and the band kept tinkering with the ideas on them to the point of near-madness. “Reckoner” was originally a working title for the record, but that never came to pass. The song, however, does contain the album title “in Rainbows” as a lyric—at a moment obsessive fans feel has significance. Two minutes a 49 seconds into the song, the backing vocals intone the album’s title and the record is 61.8 percent complete—a number which devotees believe is a reference to The Golden Ratio, 1/1.618.

Radiohead’s later career has been marked by a willingness to continue picking at ideas over the years until eventually finding a way to make them work. In Rainbows contains songs that had been written as far back as 1997 (“Nude”), and the band kept tinkering with the ideas on them to the point of near-madness. “Reckoner” was originally a working title for the record, but that never came to pass. The song, however, does contain the album title “in Rainbows” as a lyric—at a moment obsessive fans feel has significance. Two minutes a 49 seconds into the song, the backing vocals intone the album’s title and the record is 61.8 percent complete—a number which devotees believe is a reference to The Golden Ratio, 1/1.618.

“Lotus Flower”

If you’re looking for a Radiohead song to dance to, look no further than this single from 2011’s The King of Limbs. The accompanying music video features Yorke dancing wildly through the entire song. It actually comes from a sterling dance pedigree—Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor created the modern dance routine. But since it was put on the Internet, it quickly got co-opted as a meme and spliced with other songs to make the dancing much more hilarious. So, in case the combination of bass and drums on the original aren’t seductive enough, you can watch Yorke dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” or Benny Hill.

If you’re looking for a Radiohead song to dance to, look no further than this single from 2011’s The King of Limbs. The accompanying music video features Yorke dancing wildly through the entire song. It actually comes from a sterling dance pedigree—Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor created the modern dance routine. But since it was put on the Internet, it quickly got co-opted as a meme and spliced with other songs to make the dancing much more hilarious. So, in case the combination of bass and drums on the original aren’t seductive enough, you can watch Yorke dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” or Benny Hill.

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